Passionate about the aesthetics of art, Fi Lovett, the European Gallery Director of Maddox Gallery, is an expert in connecting both new and experienced collectors with art that they love. From a modern apartment to a sprawling country house, read on for Fi’s tips and advice on using art to breathe life, character and personality into your home.
What should I look for when starting to curate an art collection for home?
My advice every time is: be brave! Go for what you love and what makes your heart beat faster. Don’t play it safe and try not to be too influenced by other people.
, Flower Thrower, Screenprint (2019)
What should I consider first: the artwork, the space/wall it needs to fill, or the mood I want to create
If you’re lucky enough to have an empty room, I always suggest choosing the artwork first. It’s a luxury and makes life so much easier. Art has depth and many layers to help you build the room you want to create. It’s form and lines can help determine your choice of furniture and soft furnishings. An artist’s palette is a brilliant reference when choosing a colour scheme and helps set the tone of your room.
Saying that, we more often fall in love with an artwork, bring it home and then place it. This works in a different way. Because art has so many layers, you can keep building your room around it over the years.
Should I stick to a particular medium/era or is it OK to mix and match?
You absolutely can and should mix mediums and genres. There are also so many areas you can create within one room – dark corners to seek comfort, a desk to work at – and art can help set that tone and create an area with a purpose. Good artwork is visceral and all about how it makes you feel. A small piece of art in a dark, cosy corner can draw you into a space to sit, relax and unwind, while a large scene that fills an entire wall can create immediate impact and command a space.
How do I know if an artwork will work in my home?
It’s not always easy to visualise an artwork in situ, so having it superimposed onto an image of your space can be very helpful. For clients who are considering a variety of options, I always offer to do this. One of the most exciting areas of my job is visiting a client’s home. Some of my regular clients prefer me to attend all their installs, and even though it’s time-consuming, I’ll bend over backwards to be there for a client. I’m very visual and absorbing a client’s taste instructs and directs me to their preferences. There is nothing I enjoy more than being immersed in a project, and some of my most memorable are when I assist in curating an entire home, from top to bottom.
I want my art to make a statement in my home. How do I avoid being predictable?
Having artwork professionally installed can make a huge difference. Positioning and lighting are crucial and there are various hanging mechanisms around.
I always recommend playing with the placement of artwork, grouping them together or hanging work in isolation, and observing how they look at different times of the day. Don’t limit yourself and settle for where you’ve had work hung for years – think about repositioning it. Often, the unexpected makes the strongest statement. I have a client who’s about to repaint a wall on a staircase where I’m overseeing a salon hang. It’s exciting to start from scratch, repositioning art so that it can be viewed with fresh eyes. We get so familiar with our surroundings and sometimes a re-jig makes one discover new aspects of work.
, Infront of the House Looking South, Inkjet on paper (2019)
Do you advise people to buy what they like, what has the potential to appreciate, or both?
Most of my clients choose to invest in what pleases them aesthetically, coupled with what makes fiscal sense. They want to purchase work they connect with, but at the same time they like to know that it will hold its value or appreciate. We have a strong behind-the-scenes team who analyse news and auctions, so although the financial return may not be your top priority when it comes to choosing artwork, with our peripatetic lifestyles, it’s always worth considering.
Contact Fi Lovett, Maddox Gallery Director, to arrange your complimentary home consultation.